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Canada's Preloved Fashion Designs Give Vintage a Twist

by Marianne Salina
Fashion Career Center Columnist

Sometimes it takes years of wearing fashions before you can appreciate the art of making and selling them. This was the case for Julia Grieve, an international model turned founder and fashion merchandiser of Preloved, one of the hottest boutiques in Toronto's Queen Street West. As the name suggests, Preloved uses parts of vintage sweaters, corduroys, jeans, and coats to construct beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that are both fashion-forward and eco-friendly.

A Model's Vision Meets Design School Talent
How did a former fashion model manage to dream up a line of reconstructed vintage apparel? The answer is Peter Friesen, a talented fashion design school graduate who stumbled upon Preloved in its early stages when he was in need of a co-op work placement. Once his design skills met Grieve's passion for vintage clothing, Preloved quickly moved from the sketchpads and into store windows.

The duo has been working together for over ten years, with Friesen now branching his designs into three separate lines: Preloved, a combination of vintage and new materials; Handcut, one hundred percent vintage materials; and Bloved, a line that "fills in the gaps." With stores in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, Preloved is well loved by Canadians everywhere.

How Does Preloved Work?
When Grieve and Friesen aren't conceiving new fashion concepts for their fabrics, they can probably be found rifling through one of Toronto's "rag houses"--warehouses where piles of discarded vintage attire can be purchased by the pound. These pieces are then washed, cut into bits, and sewn into glamorous new designs, without losing the vintage appeal that their customers love.

Piece Together a Successful Fashion Design Career
Preloved is a patchwork of both the talents and the raw materials that make its fashion designs so special. Greive and Friesen's combined experiences within the fashion industry make for a promising future for this Toronto team, as they have both business savvy and technical skill.

You too can master the world of design and merchandising in fashion design school. If you have an eye for fashion, start designing your own career today.

Sources:
Preloved
Culture Creatives and Co., "Canada's Leader in Eco-Design"

About the Author
Marianne Salina has a B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and enjoys researching and discussing the myriad of fashion design pursuits in her columns.